PE Stamps no Longer Required for Fire Alarm Shop Drawings

On January 4, 2017 Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 1025, which amends the Electrical Administrative Act and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act (STRA) to allow Fire Alarm Specialty Technicians to design fire alarm shop drawings, instead of having to have the drawings stamped by an Architect or PE when applying for a permit to install a fire alarm system.

Prior to this legislation, some jurisdictions were requiring fire alarm contractors that were submitting fire alarm shop drawings with a permit application, to have the drawings sealed or stamped by an Architect or Professional Engineer.  This was based on the requirement in the Michigan Building Code, section 107.1, which requires construction documents be prepared by a registered design professional when required by PA 299 of 1980, also known as the Occupational Code.  The Occupational Code regulates 17 occupations, including Architects and Engineers.  Article 6 of the Act prohibits engaging in regulated occupations without a license, with exceptions noted in Section 601(10), which states “This act does not apply to a person engaging in or practicing the following:”, and subsection (c) states: “Any activity for which the person is licensed under the Electrical Administrative Act, PA 217 of 1956.”

Senate Bill 1025 and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act both changed the definition of a fire alarm specialty technician to include the design of fire alarm systems.  Consequently, the preparation of fire alarm shop drawings is an activity that fire alarm specialty technicians are licensed for under the Electrical Administration Act and the Skilled Trades Regulation Act, and are exempt from the requirements of PA 299 of 1980, which them removes the requirement that fire alarm shop drawings be prepared by a registered design professional.

Addressing and resolving this issue was a collaborative effort between the Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs staff, and Bureau of Construction Codes staff.  The legislative changes were also supported by the architects and engineers state association.